Don’t let Ramadan hold you back from exploring the world and embracing new adventures! Contrary to popular belief, traveling during Ramadan is not only possible but can be an enriching experience for Muslims. While it’s important to follow some guidelines during the holy month, with proper planning and a willingness to adjust your routine, you can still enjoy your trip while observing your religious obligations.
So, if you’re planning a trip during Ramadan, don’t hesitate to embark on your next adventure! With these 10 useful tips, you can make the most of your travels while still respecting the sanctity of the holy month. Let’s dive in and get ready to discover new sights, sounds, and experiences while embracing the spirit of Ramadan!
1. Research the destination
Planning ahead is crucial to have a seamless and hassle-free trip, and this applies to traveling during Ramadan as well. Before setting off, take the time to research your destination, which will help you gain valuable insight into the local customs, laws, and traditions.
One of the critical things to look out for is the availability of facilities and services during Ramadan. In Muslim-majority countries, you might find shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions operating on a different schedule, with some closing during the day and opening only in the evening, or with reduced hours. Knowing this information beforehand will allow you to plan your activities and avoid any inconvenience.
Researching your destination before traveling during Ramadan can make a significant difference in ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable trip. It can help you respect local customs and traditions, find halal food options, and make the most of your spiritual journey during the holy month. So, take the time to research and plan ahead, and get ready to embark on a fulfilling and enriching journey.
2. Be mindful of fasting hours
As you embark on your journey during Ramadan, it’s important to be mindful of the fasting hours to ensure a smooth and comfortable trip. Taking note of the fasting hours is essential, as they may vary depending on the time zone and location you’re traveling to.
For instance, if you’re traveling from Singapore to New Zealand, you’ll encounter at least five hours of time difference, which means your fasting time will be different as well. Planning your itinerary around the fasting hours can help you stay organized and avoid any unnecessary hunger or thirst during the day.
Make full use of the fasting tracker in the Muslim Pro App, especially if you are inexperienced in fasting or struggle with remembering your fasting schedule. It will be helpful when you want to review the days on which you fasted and you don’t.
3. Have a plan for iftar
Planning ahead for iftar is crucial to ensure that you can break your fast comfortably and without any hassle. This includes researching the availability of halal food options, especially if you’re traveling to a non-Muslim country where finding suitable food options can be challenging, especially during fasting hours.
To avoid any last-minute panic or anxiety, I recommend creating a list of halal restaurants, supermarkets, and markets on Google Maps before departing for your destination. This way, you can easily locate nearby halal eateries and be prepared to break your fast comfortably. Plus, it’s always a great idea to try out local halal cuisines to get a taste of the culture and traditions of the place you’re visiting.
Don’t forget to check out the mosques or Islamic centers in the area, as they may have community meals for iftar or know of halal eateries nearby. By having a plan in place for iftar, you can fully enjoy your spiritual journey during Ramadan without any unnecessary stress or anxiety.
4. Pack emergency snacks
In the event that you cannot find any halal restaurants in the area, it’s always a good idea to pack some easy-to-carry snacks like dates or dried fruits to keep you going until you can find suitable food options. Packing appropriate snacks can also come in handy in unforeseen circumstances such as delayed flights or traffic jams, which may require you to have a quick meal on the go for iftar or suhoor.
In these instances, having easy-to-carry snacks like nuts, dates, granola, or cereal bars can be very helpful. Not only are these snacks filling and nutritious, but they can also be easily carried in your backpack or handbag while you’re on the move. It’s also a good idea to carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in warmer climates.
5. Respect local customs and traditions
As a Muslim, dressing modestly is an integral part of the Islamic faith. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that covers your body appropriately, without being too revealing or tight. You can also choose professional attire that aligns with the culture of the industry you’re in, while still maintaining modesty. For example, you can opt for long skirts or dresses instead of tight pants, depending on the cultural expectations of your destination.
It’s important to understand local customs and traditions during Ramadan, such as refraining from eating or drinking in public during the day. This shows respect to the local Muslim community and helps you avoid any cultural misunderstandings. By respecting local customs and dressing modestly, you not only adhere to your own values and cultural identity, but also show your respect for the traditions and beliefs of others.
6. Plan your day around prayer times
Prayer is not only an essential part of Ramadan but also an excellent way to structure your day. Before you set off on your trip, download the Muslim Pro App for the most accurate prayer times all around the world. The app will be adjusted according to your location settings so you’ll always be alerted with the right prayer times depending on where you are.
Your hotel or hostel may have information on nearby mosques or other prayer spaces, or you can use Google Maps to find them. Alternatively, you can ask for recommendations on where to pray, from the locals or the hotel reception. In case you can’t find a nearby prayer space, don’t panic. You can always pray wherever you are, just make sure it’s a safe and comfortable place to avoid distractions and interruptions.
If you’re traveling for business, it’s important to schedule your meetings and appointments around the Athan timings to avoid any inconvenience. This can help you ensure that you don’t miss any meals or prayers during the day, while also allowing you to observe the holy month with ease.
7. Adhere to local safety guidelines
Ensuring your safety is crucial, whether you’re traveling during Ramadan or not. Following local safety guidelines can help you stay safe and enjoy your trip without any mishaps.
To stay safe, it’s important to avoid risky situations and be aware of your surroundings at all times. This may involve researching the local area in advance and familiarizing yourself with any safety risks or areas to avoid. It’s also important to take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your belongings while traveling.
One great way to ensure your safety during Ramadan is to have a local guide show you around. They can help you navigate unfamiliar places and avoid any unsafe areas. If this isn’t possible, make sure to plan your itinerary and research the safest modes of transportation to get around.
Remember, staying safe while traveling is your responsibility, and taking the necessary precautions can help you have a fun and enjoyable trip while observing the holy month of Ramadan.
8. Connect with local Muslims
Make the most out of your Ramadan travel experience by connecting with the local Muslim community or mosques in the area. Mosques are not only a great place to pray, but they can also be a source of valuable information, such as where to find halal restaurants and stores nearby.
Additionally, meeting other Muslims in the community can help you gain a deeper understanding of the local culture and traditions. You may even discover some hidden gems in the area that only locals know about! If you’re having trouble finding a mosque nearby, try searching online for active communities on social media or reaching out to local organizations and religious leaders for guidance.
9. Listen to your body
Staying healthy during Ramadan is essential, especially when traveling. Fasting can be challenging, and it’s crucial to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. If you have any medical conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor before fasting.
Although fasting is a religious obligation, Islam encourages us to prioritize our health and wellbeing. If you’re feeling unwell or traveling, it’s perfectly acceptable to break your fast. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) emphasized the importance of taking care of our bodies, saying that we should not cause ourselves any harm by fasting unnecessarily.
10. Make the most of your journey
Ramadan is a time to focus on the positive and what we can gain from this holy month. It’s easy to feel like we’re missing out on special moments back home while we’re away, but instead of dwelling on that, we should remember that Allah has blessed us with the ability to fast while traveling! By staying strong physically and spiritually, we can make the most of this unique experience as Muslims.
It’s important to remind ourselves to stay true to our faith and uphold the values of Ramadan, especially when we’re traveling abroad. As the Prophet Muhammad advised, we must avoid false speech and actions that contradict our beliefs. This is especially relevant during Ramadan when we may feel tempted by the food and drink around us. By keeping our focus on our faith and striving to do our best each day, we can ensure a fulfilling and rewarding Ramadan experience, no matter where we are in the world.
Traveling during Ramadan can be a unique and rewarding experience for Muslims around the world. By following these tips and preparing well in advance, you can ensure a fulfilling and meaningful journey, even while away from home. Remember that the key is to stay focused on your faith and to make the most of this special time, no matter where you are.
So, whether you’re exploring a new city or visiting loved ones in another country, keep these tips in mind and enjoy your travels during Ramadan. May this holy month bring you closer to Allah (SWT) and may your journey be blessed with peace, joy, and spiritual growth.
Written by Nurul Mimsy
Nurul Mimsy is a Muslim food and travel blogger hailing from Malaysia and raised in Singapore. With a camera in one hand and iced coffee in the other, she crafts Muslim-friendly content on her blog and social media. Join Nurul on her journey to discover Allah’s beautiful world.